0207: "What xkcd Means"

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gompers
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0207: "What xkcd Means"

Postby gompers » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:05 am UTC

Image

It means shuffling quickly past nuns on the street with ketchup in your palms, pretending you're hiding stigmata.

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Postby AstralRunner » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:16 am UTC

The tiles I step on when transversing tiled floors form a pattern that may as well have been left by a Knight.
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Postby opus » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:18 am UTC

I definitely do 1, 2, and 4 fairly often.
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Postby xnull » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:22 am UTC

It means finding the cure to cancer, but making it improperly because you round incorrectly.

It means handing in only the SHA1 hash, MD5 hash and CRC hash of your homework assignment along with the shellcode to a brute-forcer for your teacher to recover it.

It means walking into a Klan rally with Gnarles Barkley's "Crazy" blasting.

It means memorizing the ASCII table so you can speak in binary.
This statement is false.

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Postby Lethal Interjection » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:40 am UTC

I once had a towtruck do this in front of me.

Image

In fact, I may have been generous as to how far down the adjacent street he went. He made absolutely no attempt to make it look like what he was doing was legal. That's towtruck drivers for you, though.

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Postby Pathway » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:00 am UTC

4... wow. I didn't think anyone else did that. Glad they do, though.

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Postby homeobocks » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:03 am UTC

Re: 3

I don't think a mathematician would be horrified by calling the Ackermann function with g_64 as the arguments. In my experience, they would be OK with it. If you ask them to describe the number, they'd probibly say "positive" or "natural" ... maybe "big", if you were lucky (or he was drunk).

Nah, try calling it to horrify an engineer or physicist.

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Postby Oort » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:11 am UTC

I've always done the floor tile thing, ever since I was little. However, we have hardwood floors, so I had to choose which floorboards I was able to walk on (instead of tiles). As a rule of thumb, if they were dark, had more lines than usual or had a chair in front of them I couldn't walk on them. Also, the rules only applied to floorboards which ran North-South. The others didn't matter.

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Postby bander » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:24 am UTC

That's hilarious, homeobocks. Also very funny:

From Wikipedia: the Graham's number:

Graham's number, named after Ronald Graham, is often described as the largest number that has ever been seriously used in a mathematical proof. It is too large to be written in scientific notation because even the digits in the exponent would exceed the number of particles in the visible universe, so it needs special notation to write down. Graham's number is much larger than other well known large numbers such as a googol and a googolplex.

Graham's number is connected to the following problem in the branch of mathematics known as Ramsey theory:

Consider an n-dimensional hypercube, and connect each pair of vertices to obtain a complete graph on 2n vertices. Then colour each of the edges of this graph using only the colours red and black. What is the smallest value of n for which every possible such colouring must necessarily contain a single-coloured complete sub-graph with 4 vertices that lies in a plane?

Although the solution to this problem is not yet known, Graham's number is the smallest known upper bound. This bound was found by Graham and B. L. Rothschild (see (GR), corollary 12). They also provided the lower bound 6, adding the qualified understatement: Clearly, there is some room for improvement here.

In his 1989 book Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers (ISBN 0-88385-521-6), Martin Gardner wrote "Ramsey-theory experts believe the actual Ramsey number for this problem is probably 6, making Graham's number perhaps the worst smallest-upper-bound ever discovered." More recently, however, Geoff Exoo of Indiana State University has shown (in 2003) that it must be at least 11 and provided evidence that it is larger.

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Postby German Sausage » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:32 am UTC

god bless you, i was just about to ask.
although...n dimensional hypercube? can't actually visualise it

2 and 4 all the time, and although i dont drive, my bike can instantly transform into a pedestrian and therefore run red lights with no issues

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Postby xnull » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:47 am UTC

4 all of the time (still). I have long since abandoned my cell phone, but while I used it, 2 all of the time.
This statement is false.

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Postby asliceofpi » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:45 am UTC

I had to create an account when I saw this comic. XP

Since 7th grade, I have never been able to walk on my own set of lines. When I read 4, it made me so happy that I'm not the only person who walks awkwardly like that.

Thank you for making a dork feel at home. :D

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Postby Gordon » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:01 am UTC

I always felt awkward at malls when I'd jump from tile to tile not stepping on certain ones (and certainly never a crack), but this makes it all better.

Also I do the red light and cell phone things. One time I had my cell phone in my left coat pocket instead of my right, now that was embarrassing.

Am I the only one who makes sure to put their wallet/phone/keys/loose change in the exact same pocket every time?
Meaux_Pas wrote:
RealGrouchy wrote:I still remember the time when Gordon left. I still wake up in the middle of the night crying and screaming his name.
I do that too, but for an entirely different reason.
RealGrouchy wrote:
Gordon wrote:How long have I been asleep?!
Our daughter is in high school now.

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Postby Token » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:11 am UTC

Wow... never realised how many people did 4 as well...

I am unable to walk on a tiled floor without stepping on tiles that are a knight's move away from the last tile I stepped on. If the floor includes extra thick lines between tiles every so often, I must make an extended knight's move (3 by 1) to avoid stepping on a tile adjacent to a line.

When going up stairs, I have to take them a combination of one and two steps at a time so as to take an even number of steps in total (so that I step onto the first step and the top with my right foot).

Oh, and I've done 2, but I'm pretty sure everyone does that. How else do you find a lost phone?

EDIT: Oh, and full marks to the person who updated Wikipedia's article on the Ackermann function to include a link to "Randall Munroe's suggested usage". Oh, and the one for Graham's number too.

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Postby Benevolent Lion » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:41 am UTC

Wow, I do my own variation of number 4 as well. It's kinda trippy to know that a good number of us do this (I say we make a poll for it).

XKCD means when your phone drops the call with someone you've been talking to for to long, you don't call back.
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Postby Regulus » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:41 am UTC

I'm guilty of 1, 2, and 4. So I guess I've always known what xkcd means.
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Postby Gordon » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:42 am UTC

XKCD means when your phone drops the call with someone you've been talking to for to long, you don't call back.


You ever called your own cell number from a land line just so you could get off the phone with someone by saying you had another call without having to lie about it?
Meaux_Pas wrote:
RealGrouchy wrote:I still remember the time when Gordon left. I still wake up in the middle of the night crying and screaming his name.
I do that too, but for an entirely different reason.
RealGrouchy wrote:
Gordon wrote:How long have I been asleep?!
Our daughter is in high school now.

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Postby ohki » Mon Jan 08, 2007 8:56 am UTC

At an anime con, a friend and I were buzzing around the convention center following only one of the colors of carpet. The funny part is they seem to be randomly oriented patches of a randomly selected set of sizes, so sometimes you'd hit a dead end and have to turn around and retrace.

Image
Photo cropped for carpet, try to ignore the 1/3 the subject left in the frame.
(Blocks that only meet at a corner are NOT considered connected)
(and you obviously have to follow the grey as it's consistent while the other color changes across the convention center)

Gordon wrote:Am I the only one who makes sure to put their wallet/phone/keys/loose change in the exact same pocket every time?

Wallet - front right against the outside
Cell - front right against the inside
Keys - 2 sets front left
Leatherman - front left
Spare change - Front left
Recipts of any sort - one of the back pockets
Arcade tokens - Right front leg pocket (cargo shorts)
Last edited by ohki on Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ly_yng » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:12 am UTC

Gordon wrote:Am I the only one who makes sure to put their wallet/phone/keys/loose change in the exact same pocket every time?


My wallet goes in my front right pocket.

My cell phone, keys, and pen go in my front left pocket.

I don't carry loose change. It's very carefully stacked up next to my computer, in four piles.

I used to do 4 a lot, but I tried to stop looking at the floor when I walk and more at, you know, other people and stuff.

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Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:13 am UTC

I love this comic. It needs to be a T-shirt, or at least the line about the Ackermann function. I would wear that every day.
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Postby Tshen2 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:26 am UTC

Am I the only one who makes sure to put their wallet/phone/keys/loose change in the exact same pocket every time?

Me too. I arrange things according to their positions on the Mohs scale, with one expendable item (lower scratch resistance) and one valuable item (higher scratch resistance) in each pocket.

Is the 'walking like a chess-knight' thing especially common among the sort of people who enjoy xkcd? My variation includes extra rules of how to proceed on irregularly shaped/fitted tiles. Plus some extra stuff about crossing boundaries across different types of flooring.

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Postby Joshua » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:48 am UTC

Gordon wrote:Am I the only one who makes sure to put their wallet/phone/keys/loose change in the exact same pocket every time?


Wallet: back right (obvious)
Phone: front left
Keys: Front right (forward in pocket)
Pitch Pipe: Front right (behind keys)
Optional - Can of mints: Front right (behind pitch pipe)

[[Yes, I always carry a pitch pipe.]]

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Postby Grincement » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:51 am UTC

Guilty of 2 and 4...

Re 2: Sometimes I wish other things that I lose were as easy to find as my phone. I could just phone my left shoe and find where it has been taken by my cats...

Re 4: I was up in London a few days ago and outside where we were staying there was a brick work pattern as the pavement. I could only walk on the bricks that were length ways in the direction i was travelling. However the pattern was so that when viewed from the air there were visible squares, this created a problem where I had leap over a metre of the wrong direction bricks to land safely on the correct bricks...i missed my train but it was worth it!
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Postby Gelsamel » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:31 am UTC

4 All the time, and 2 when applicable.

The alt-text is quite disturbing.

Edit: Also I often angle my feet differently so they are within the space of a small tile/brick but are also perpendicular or opposite or something else. When ever I'm standing still.

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Postby william » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:47 am UTC

xnull wrote:It means walking into a Klan rally with Gnarles Barkley's "Crazy" blasting.

"Killing In the Name" would be better. It talks about "those who burn crosses" in a negative light.

I did 4 with a slight variation in middle school: I pretended that the floor tiles made up a game of Chip's Challenge, with the blue being water, blue-green being ice, yellow being blocks, etc. Don't remember how I did the green though since force floors are directional.
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Postby hermaj » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:51 am UTC

william wrote:I did 4 with a slight variation in middle school: I pretended that the floor tiles made up a game of Chip's Challenge, with the blue being water, blue-green being ice, yellow being blocks, etc. Don't remember how I did the green though since force floors are directional.


<3

What about the bugs? Did you pick random people and run frantically away from them, feeling the adrenaline pump through your body as you power through your desperate chase?

...Because I totally would have done that.

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Postby william » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:54 am UTC

hermaj wrote:
william wrote:I did 4 with a slight variation in middle school: I pretended that the floor tiles made up a game of Chip's Challenge, with the blue being water, blue-green being ice, yellow being blocks, etc. Don't remember how I did the green though since force floors are directional.


<3

What about the bugs? Did you pick random people and run frantically away from them, feeling the adrenaline pump through your body in your desperate chase?

...Because I totally would have done that.

No, and if I was still going to middle school I would totally do that. My high school's tiles are just a boring checkerboard-type pattern so I can't do that anymore.
SecondTalon wrote:A pile of shit can call itself a delicious pie, but that doesn't make it true.

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Pocke

Postby Synecdoche » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:01 pm UTC

My cell phone, keys, and pen go in my front left pocket.


Don't your keys scratch your cellphone with that approach?

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"questionably legal"?

Postby dwm » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:06 pm UTC

That expression seems a little odd to me. It seems more natural (and possibly more correct?) to say "legally questionable" ...

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Postby Strilanc » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:14 pm UTC

I thought the Ackermann one was the best, just because of the ridiculous size of the number being described. I just want to know what the before-last digit in it is.
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Postby no-genius » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:23 pm UTC

I sometimes use my room phone to find my mobile.

Wait, that just reminded my of Curb Your Enthusiasm where the nurse steals Larry's phone and hides it in .... an unusual place... :oops:

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Postby opus » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:43 pm UTC

With regards to 4 again, I've actually gone so far as to create a game where I'm only allowed to step in between two cracks in the sidewalk one time. If a second footfall hits the space between two cracks, I lose a point. If I manage to cross multiple cracks in a single step, I gain a point per crack.

I created this game when I was about 10 or so, and I've been playing it with relative frequency ever since :)
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Postby Air Gear » Mon Jan 08, 2007 12:47 pm UTC

Alky wrote:I thought the Ackermann one was the best, just because of the ridiculous size of the number being described. I just want to know what the before-last digit in it is.


You know, it might not be that hard to compute a horrifying number like that mod something small...if I get bored enough, I'll try it.

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Postby thomasjmaccoll » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:17 pm UTC

a lot of people seem surprised that someone else does number 4... when i was growing up here, all the kids did it. maybe not in set patterns, but 'step on a line break your spine, step on a crack, break your back' (or variations) were commonplace, and the more advanced versions were only a natural progression for the more intelligent among us... but yes, i still do this one all the time.

i like to be prepared for lots of things all the time, and so carry a lot around with me... at the moment (in winter), my pocket arrangement goes something like:
phone - left trouser pocket
pen/any other trinkets i might be taking with me - right trouser pocket
assorted receipts/tickets i may accrue - left back trouser pocket
assorted coins/small things i may accrue - right back trouser pocket
wallet - left jacket pocket
mp3 player - right jacket pocket
camera (and also train timetable) - inside left jacket pocket

plus a couple of other things normally... and in summer i just take a bag of some description and shove it all in there.
slow down, you move too fast

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Postby German Sausage » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:32 pm UTC

maybe its a bad sign but i always assumed that everyone did 4.
autism? only time will tell

ipod - right pocket
keys - left pocket
wallet - right back pocket
any more than that and its bag time for me
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Postby Nomic » Mon Jan 08, 2007 1:46 pm UTC

I did the 4 in grade school. There were red and white tiles placed in a checkered pattern, and I allways walked on white ones. I still do it sometimes, and allso follow lines in the floor.

I allso allways keep my phone in my right trouser pocket. In the left one I keep my wallet, a deck of cards, or nay other object I migth be carrying around in my pocket at the time.

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Postby ptveite » Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

I do 1,2, and 4. Good stuff.

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Postby Verysillyman » Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

I would just like to say to everyone who uses pockets: Get a bag :P i keep pretty well everything in my bag. If I don't have my bag, I keep one cell phone in each pocket of my jacket, keys on the right, wallet on the left. if i'm not wearing a jacket then I variate, but usually have keys in my right, wallet in hand or car, one phone in left. If Ive only got one pocket, then it's one phone, the key for my car, and some folding or cash card all in that one. i don't like putting things in trouser pockets.

I sometimes avoid stepping on lines, but my room is tiled so there's a certain point to which i just don't care.

I don't lose my phones often enough to have to find them.

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Postby Mat » Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:43 pm UTC

I do 2 and 4. The squares of the pavement are two small for me to move one square each step, and too big for me to cover two, so sometimes I kinda alternate or go diagonally, which probably makes me look very strange. I usually do this when I'm with slow-walking friends who take forever to get anywhere. Also when climbing steps I get really annoyed because they're too small so I usually skip every other step or zigzag across them. I've made up rules for walking on the tiles in my kitchen before as well but that was just because I was bored, unlike my other walking habits which obviously make perfect sense.

Phone and mp3 player: left pocket
Wallet and keys: right pocket
:)

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Postby teryret » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:07 pm UTC

xkcd means dropping bits of dry ice into the toilet so that the ice encrusted CO2 bubbles make 'smoke' rings when they finally melt enough to pop.

Also, in the spirit of everyone admitting to things they never would in public, I do 0xB (and the unnumbered CO2 thing).


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